So, I finally, this term, got around to joining the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap, and if I were into bitter regret, I would be bitterly regretting the four terms I've missed. The friendliness and society is superb, and what luck - one of the busiest knitters and posters turns out to live 15 mintues from me and be awesome in real life as well. Sometimes you hit an experience that makes up for a whole lot of traffic tickets and stolen parking spaces and nights you had to knit by yourself, and this is one of those. And that is all before the kit itself.
But what a kit.
I sort of knew I was in for a marvelous ride opening this when I found out my spoiler, Cassandra Puddlemere, was a prizewinner last time around. Cassandra is a prefect and one of the most prolific posters, so I've gotten to know her fairly well already, and there are weeks of this swap left to go. But no one could really have expected this.
First of all, there was too much swag to fit in one container, so she had to send two:
Which I carefully excavated, much like an archealogical dig.
there were delicious treats:
The resident house elf had ripped open the box of Bertie Bott's before I could so much as read the letter! It was forcibly retrieved and placed out of his reach. The lemon drops remind me of Dumbledore, and the rootbeer is a touch of home here in the castle...
Gryffinly paper goods included red bugs (Whose animagus is that? They are way too sweet to be related to Rita Skeeter!)a Trio bookmark, Gryffindor gold notepaper emblazoned with a G, magical roses which can stick on to metal and hold sheets of paper on as well, the snitch keychain I was slobbering over on the net the other day and two textbooks! I have been dieing to read Fantastic Beasts and now I can!
The tyvek bag was astounding. It had two hand made owls; a Baby Brother owl for my little one, and Big Brother owl for my older son, along with another toy for each - a tiny Thomas the Tank Engine for the baby, which is not in the picture because said baby would not let it out of his grubby little paw, and a planet sun catcher for my older son. The note that explains these choices is priceless, and I thank you for that especially, Cass.
Approaching the sock itself, I show you one of the Hiya Hiya 000 needles Cass sent, displaying the gorgeous stitch markers. I specifically needed this size, and I was thrilled beyond belief with the needles and with how pretty the stitch markers are. Do you think the discerning will notice if I wear two as earrings while displaying the rest on my needeles?
(There was also a CD of knitting patterns, which you can see in the final picture)
And now, we get down to the heart of the matter...the nitty gritty guts of a sock kit: Fiber. Yarn. Bag.
I was very surprised to find this roll of roving, hand painted by Tempted Hand Painted Yarns - 4 oz of Blue Faced Leicester. Is it any surprise that this colorway is called Godric? I am wondering if it is going to become socks, or a shawl. It is SOOO soft! There are a ton of options as to how I can spin it up - just deciding between them is delectable!
Then, there is sock yarn! 435 yards of machine-washable goodness in this colorway, which the Painted Sheep is calling Tulips. Well, I guess they want people who don't know or don't care that it is the perfect Gryffindor colorway to buy it, too? This is a five and a quarter ounce skein, so despite the impressive yardage we are talking a hefty, substantial sock yarn. This may become a pair of my Eight Great Gryffindors sock - pattern available soon...I have to see how it works up with the patterning. If not, I'll be trying Inukshuk71's Minerva's Lucky Quidditch socks. Audrey was my spoiler in HSS2 and I have a pair of those in my drawer already, and they are superb! We will have to see what the yarn wants to be. Although I should warn it - I think there might be enough for a nice coffee cup sling, or at least cuff, after the socks are done...
and now, the piece de resistance... the ne plus ultra...the moment you have been waiting for...
A teaser look at that bag. I call this photo "The Heart of the Matter" and I think I may be making prints to put on cards...
And now...drumroll... the bag, THE bag, the bag that has my mother WILD with Envy, and she a woman who does not have a jealous bone in her body...(A little jealous cartilidge, maybe, but not a bone...)
Is. This. Not. FANTASTIC???????????????????????
I love it. I love the color. I love the sheen of the fiber. I love the pattern, which I have contemplated making numerous times but never gotten around to. I love the button. I love the handle. I love the lining, carefully machine stitched for strength and then even more carefully hand-stitched in. Teh only possible way to improve this bag is to fill it up with sock knitting and enjoy it.
Which is exactly what I am about to do!
Thanks, Cassandra. MARVELOUS job!